Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1852: “Each Member of the Clerical Staff Must Bring 4 Pounds of Coal Each Day.”

    Everyone knows workplace conditions were a animal in times gone by, but it's still eye-opening to consider just how different things were. Consider this old poster, which I saw on a recent visit to the Furnacetown Living Heritage Village near Snow Hill, Md. The Village is on the site of an old bog-iron-making operation, but these Furnacetown rules actually apply to the clerical…
August 18, 2018
DestinationsTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

SITES & STOPS: The Historic Pine Street Corridor in Cambridge, Maryland

    When working on Tubman Travels, my Secrets of the Eastern Shore guide to the sites and stories associated with the Underground Railroad era on the Delmarva Peninsula, I also kept a bunch of notes on other African American stories in Delaware and on the Eastern Shore. Eventually, I put those together into a PDF document that’s available as a free download to everyone…
August 16, 2018
DestinationsWay Back Machine

How This Little Backroads Chapel Evokes the Stories in Michener’s Famous Novel

    Sweet scenes abound on the long ride out to Hoopers Island. The landscape of remote south Dorchester County—an area that the locals call “Down Below”—is a glorious run of marshlands, rivers, and farm fields. Along the way you will find a pair of churches in Golden Hill, Maryland that go by the name St. Mary Star of the Sea. They are hiding along…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: The Heyday of Garment Factories in Crisfield, Maryland

That old saying about how the more things change, the more they stay the same popped into my head when I went looking for a little background info to go with a cool photo of an old B.V.D. underwear plant, one of several old garment factories in Crisfield, Md. We’ve all heard about modern-day clothing and shoe companies that find their way to far-flung places…
July 23, 2018
From the BooksTubman TravelsWay Back Machine

TUBMAN TRAVELS: Sailing a Steamboat South to Freedom

This story of the Tilly escape is a free excerpt from the Secrets of the Eastern Shore guidebook, Tubman Travels: 32 Underground Railroad Journeys on Delmarva.  More information about the book, including where to buy it in stores and online, is available here. BIG PICTURE: Tricks of the Trade Back during the Ottoman Empire, a German military commander named Helmuth von Moltke came up with…
July 16, 2018
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY, 1907: Those Newfangled Skipjacks “Are as Cheap as Anything in the Form of a Boat Could Be.”

    Back in 1907, the Baltimore Sun published an essay lamenting the disappearance of an old sailing vessel called the pungy from the Chesapeake Bay sailing fleet. The business of oystering was in transition in those years, and the pungy was a bad fit for the new way of doing things. With the infamous Oyster Wars well under way, watermen were looking for vessels…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

Quote of the Day: A Shocking Discovery on the Dunes of Fenwick Island, c. 1900

    Ruth Watson Lewis grew up in a family that made a special trip every year to a religious "camp meeting" on the Delaware Beach. The reminiscence that follows about going to the Fenwick Island camp meeting as a young girl comes from the book, Barefoot in Fenwick Island: Life on the Isle in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Be sure to stay tuned…
CharactersWay Back Machine

Snow Hill/Wilmington Character of the Day: Hall of Famer Judy Johnson

    Clutch: That’s the word that pops up when baseball people talk about how Judy Johnson earned his place among the game’s all-time greats. Johnson wasn’t particularly strong, or fast, or powerful. He stood less than 6 feet tall and weighed less than 150 pounds. There was nothing flashy about his style. But "no one would drive in as many clutch runs as he…
Quote of the DayWay Back Machine

QUOTE OF THE DAY: ‘The mosquito,’ Dr. Tawes would say, ‘is one of the noblest creatures known to nature.’

    The late P.J. Wingate was, appropriately enough, from the little town of Wingate, which stands amid the mosquito-ridden marshland of South Dorchester County, Maryland. (Locals pronounced it win-GIT, actually.) A chemist by trade, Wingate dabbled quite a bit in writing as well. This is from his 1979 book, Bandages of Soft Illusion. It’s full of little essays about his childhood days in what…